Photo by Jacqueline Bennett 11/2013 Taking part in Jack Bannan Memorial turkey Trot is a tradition for many Simsbury residents.

Photo by Jacqueline Bennett for the Simsbury News 11/2013  Taking part in the Jack Bannan Memorial Turkey Trot is a tradition for many Simsbury, CT residents. Shown here Sean Askham.


Write -Up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett


It is a wonderful tradition that began with one man’s desire to help. The Jack Bannan Memorial Turkey Trot held November 18, in Connecticut’s Farmington Valley got off to a strong start collecting 1,231 turkeys to help Foodshare feed hungry folks in Greater Hartford for the Thanksgiving holiday, said organizers. People without enough to eat unlikely come to mind when thinking of Connecticut, long considered one of the wealthiest states in the nation. Nevertheless, the need is as real here as elsewhere.



Photo by Jacqueline Bennett for the Simsbury News 11/2013

The Turkey Trot originated with Bannan who was a grade 6 teacher in Simsbury, teaching for thirty-two years before his retirement in 1989. He passed away two years ago. Bannan, a United States Army veteran of World War II, had been a prisoner of war captured during the Battle of the Bulge. In a 2013 interview with the former president of Foodshare, Gloria McAdam, she explained that “Jack” told her as a P.O.W. he had known what felt like to go hungry.


When he heard a news report of the agency falling short of the needed number of turkeys to help families and individuals in Greater Hartford enjoy a Thanksgiving meal, he decided to take action. Bannan called family and friends and together they rallied to assist Foodshare. Thus began what is now the Jack Bannan Memorial Turkey Trot. In its 23rd year, the Turkey Trot has been carried on by Bannan’s family. Another heartwarming part of the story is that some emergency response workers, who as adults participate in this tradition of giving, are Bannan’s former students.


According to Foodshare, they received a request this year for 16,188 turkeys for families and individuals. WFSB television personality Scot Haney was on hand yesterday in the Farmington Valley to promote the collection drive. As well, WRDC AM radio personality Brad Davis did so on his “The Talk of Connecticut” program live from CityPlace in downtown Hartford.

Photo courtesy of Foodshare Brad Davis Talk of Connecticut.

Photo courtesy of Foodshare WDRC AM’s Brad Davis “The Talk of Connecticut”.




A Turkey and Thirty efforts continued today on Church Street in Hartford from 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. and in Windsor by Voya Financial from 7a.m. – 9 a.m. at 1 Orange Way. On November 20, Back East Brewery, 1296 Blue Hills Ave. Bloomfield, will give away a pint glass and offer beer tasting to those who donate to the Foodshare campaign from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.


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